Thursday, August 22, 2013

The glass is 1/3 (or perhaps even 40 percent) full

Today was kind of a landmark for me.  Just under 4 months since I tore the ACL in my right knee, I hit tennis balls for an hour.  I am at a professional conference in my field that is being held at a tennis resort, and my physical therapist cleared me to hit balls with a pro who could hit consistently right back to me if I was able to sustain my half of the rally.

I hit for an hour, on an outdoor hartru court on a beautiful warm but not hot day, wearing a bulky, gigantic robo tennis brace on my knee.  I then iced afterwards, and am taking ibuprofen.

The good news is that I survived, and am not even especially sore at the moment.   My form of course was awful, though I did hit some good balls with decent racquet speed.  The bad news is that I really can't move much at all, especially if I am at all surprised by the placement of the ball that's coming towards me.  No moving more than a couple of steps even if I anticipate it correctly, and absolutely no changing directions.

So I am very, very far from playing again, and for that matter also undecided about whether or not to have ACL surgery.  (I would do it in early December, after finishing my fall classes at NYU.)  But I suppose it is something to be able to hit at all.  I haven't completely forgotten my strokes, and when I'm in position I can hit it pretty well despite the knee.  But then again, back in the day my game was always based more on movement, court coverage, determination, and strategy than perfect form.  Hard to see that all coming back, at least absent successful surgery followed by six months to a year of hard work and then permanent maintenance.

So the glass is leaning full, not empty, even if I'm feeling sour enough to call it less than half so.

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